File Sharing Awareness System Implemented at Northwestern

Posted Date: 26 Aug 2008

Effective Date: 26 Aug 2008

In the interest of maintaining a safe network environment for the University community, Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) implemented Be Aware You're Uploading (NU-BAYU) on August 26, 2008. The automated data tracking system, adopted from the University of Michigan , educates and increases awareness regarding issues surrounding copyright infringement through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing technology. Educating the University community about safe computing practices is a University priority.

Over the past few years, the University has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of notices received from the Recording Industry Association of America and other copyright holders, alleging that members of the University community are uploading copyrighted content using P2P file sharing technology. Upon being notified of such activity, many users are unaware that file sharing is occurring on their machines.

The fundamental goal of the NU-BAYU system is to educate users on:

  • How to avoid uploading
  • How to use P2P file sharing technology lawfully
  • The risks associated with using P2P file sharing technology

If NU-BAYU detects P2P file sharing activity on a computer, an e-mail is sent to the user associated with the machine notifying them that P2P file sharing activity is occurring on their machines. The NU-BAYU e-mail also offers users instructions on how to disable peer-to-peer file sharing applications and remove peer-to-peer file sharing applications.

Impact on End User

A user will receive a maximum of one e-mail in a 24 hour window and will be given the opportunity to opt out of receiving notices altogether every 120 days. After the 120 days, the user will again be eligible to receive e-mail alerts, if warranted.

NU-BAYU is not software that a user will have to install or update. It does not affect the performance of anyone's computer or the University's network. NU-BAYU does not look at the content being uploaded, nor does it look at the content on a computer's hard drive.

The NU-BAYU program is not intended to serve as a mechanism by which the University will monitor the content of data network traffic for copyrighted material, generate lists of users for punitive/disciplinary action, or otherwise pass judgment on user behavior. By design, no user data will be retained by the system other than a list of users who have opted out of receiving notifications.

Additional Information:

NU-BAYU Resources:

University Resources

External Resources

  • Recording Industry Association of America
  • Motion Picture Association of America
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
Support Contact:

NUIT Support Center
Central service desk for students, faculty, and staff.
847-491-4357 (1-HELP)
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